Secret Service History: Through The Decades

Secret Service History: Through The Decades
Secret Service History: Through The Decades

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Secret Service Agent Harry T. Donaghy

Hello, Maureen!
Thanks so much for writing! Yes- Harry T. Donaghy WAS indeed from the Secret Service and was, in fact, a pretty famous agent---see the following links:
The FBI has had agents stationed in Philadelphia since its earliest days as an organization.
Special Agent Harry T. Donaghy, one of the original Secret Service investigators to join the Bureau, took the oath of office in Philadelphia at the end of June 1908 and so was one of the first agents of the special agent force created by Attorney General Bonaparte on July 26, 1908.”
LOTTERY MEN IN COURT. 28 of Them Arrested in Different Parts of the Country. Authorities Claim That They Have Now Wiped Out All the Big Lotteries. Chicago. April 11 Twenty-eight men ar. rested in various cities. South, East and ' West, on charges of conspiracy to operate a lottery, were arraigned to-day before Judge S. H. Bothea in the Federal District Court. These men, of wnom David H. Jones, 70 years old, is said tt have been the chief, are charged with conspiracy In causing the transportation ". of lottery tickets by express companies. , Jones was arrested in his office in this! city last May and since then the secret eervlce men have been gathering up his alleged agents in various cities. The alleged lottery is the Old Reliable Guaranty Loan and Trust Company of Chicago, declared by -federal authorities to be the last of the three big lotteries that for years had flourished in tho ' United States. The other two the Honduras and Kentucky lotteries were Killed hv the investieatlons of Secret Service . Operative Harry Donaghy and the federal action that resulted from his inquiries Jones.-It is said, started the Old Re- liable Guaranty Loan and Trust Company twenty years ago under the pretense that it was a loan association, the lottery c prize -representing a loau. It is said he , made t2,000.000 or more out of the business, but lost a greater part of his wealth in Board of Trade and other speculation. ; All of the men arraigned pleaded guilty to the charge against them aud they ' were warned by, Judge Bcthea that if a Similar charge was ever proved against them hereafter prison sentences would be imposed.

I have been looking for information about a former Secret Service Agent from the early 1900s, Harry T. Donaghy. I’ve visited your web site and I was hoping you might have more information about him. My great uncle’s name was Harry T. Donaghy, born 1869, Philadelphia, PA. I don’t know if he’s the same Harry T. Donaghy from the Secret Service, but I can’t rule it out either. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to find an answer, but have been unsuccessful. If you have any information about him or can offer any suggestions for further research it would be appreciated. Your web site has a lot of great information!

Thank you,

Maureen Donaghy
Thank you so much for getting back to me and for the newspaper and web site information.

Is there any way to tell how long he was with the Secret Service?  Could he have been a member of the Secret Service and then moved on to other things? I only have one picture of him that I found online from a program for a boxing match. It’s attached to the family tree (see link below).

This is a little about what I know of him:
- Harry T. Donaghy was born in Philadelphia to Thomas A Donaghy and Mary Magee on July 14, 1869. 
- He  worked at a hotel in Philadelphia called Guy’s Hotel, 31 S. 7th Street from about 1895- 1902. It’s possible that he worked there prior to 1895, but that’s the furthest  back I’ve found him on city directories. 
- In 1902, Charles C. Murray, the proprietor of Guy’s Hotel died. It looks as though Harry left Guy’s Hotel at that point although he lived with Charles Murray’s widow, Mary E. (McGowan) Murray until her death in 1940. They must have been close — or possibly related — because he signed her death certificate and was executor of her will.  His niece, Kathryn Donaghy, lived with them for many years. The relationships listed on the census between Mary Murray and Kathryn Donaghy change from one census to the next.
- There’s a gap in my research between  1902 and 1911. Maybe part of the Secret Service during that time?
- I have a lot of newspaper articles from 1911-1922 that concerning his affiliation with boxing. In 1911, he bought property at 33 S. 11th St in Philly and sold tickets from that address to various boxing matches. He was affiliated with the Olympia Athletic Assn. and the National Athletic Assn. Both clubs held boxing events.
- His occupation was listed as “liquor” on many city directories and census records. He also spent time in Atlantic City. 
- I’d been convinced that he wasn’t the Harry T Donaghy in the Secret Service, but his death certificate says (what looks like) “Gov’t Service”. 
-You are welcome to see the information about him on our family tree in if you are interested, however, it doesn’t include the newspaper articles.
- His brother, Daniel A Donaghy, was my great grandfather.

I appreciate your help and certainly understand if you aren’t interested in all the details of Harry’s life! I could go on forever because I’ve been researching him for years, but still don’t have a good picture of who he was. Thank you for the information you sent. It fits in the years where there are gaps in my research. 

Enjoy the weekend!


Friday, August 12, 2016


I am very excited about my third book THE NOT-SO-SECRET SERVICE: AGENCY TALES FROM FDR TO THE KENNEDY ASSASSINATION TO THE REAGAN ERA! This one is my best one yet! I know a lot of authors probably feel this way about their latest work, but, in this instance, it is the truth. My first one SURVIVOR’S GUILT is a very good textbook style volume that has a necessarily narrow focus (the JFK assassination), while my second one is openly a reference work (with the same narrow focus that, admittedly, is probably more for the serious student/researcher on the case). While I am proud of my first two books, this one is the most readable, the most diverse (FDR, Truman, Ike, JFK, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan era Secret Service), and contains some explosive chapters related to the JFK assassination that will really get people talking! It should be on Amazon (and elsewhere) for pre-order in 6-10 weeks from now (like the other two, Kindle, paperback and E-book formats…even the Nook. I am a proud TRINE DAY author. I even have a FOURTH book completed, but I am getting ahead of myself). I cannot wait for you to read this one! Finally- a book you can take to the beach that may make you not want to go into the water; too much to ponder! There are POSITIVE chapters in the book (not all doom and gloom or critical assessments), yet I feel the JFK-related chapters will really get people fired up! I am very excited about this one- can you tell?